Overview of New Media Journalism Degree Programs
Media is constantly evolving to incorporate online platforms, and journalists need to develop multimedia skills to remain relevant and effective. Across the country, many institutions offer journalism bachelor's degree, and sometimes associate's degree, programs tailored to an ever-changing media landscape. Featuring an increased focus on technology and multimedia news delivery, these new media journalism programs ensure students have the reporting and production skills needed to keep the population up-to-date on the news. Here's what prospective new media journalism students need to know about the degree and future career options.
Admission Requirements for New Media Journalism Degree Programs
Many undergraduate degree programs in new media journalism do not have additional requirements for entry outside a high school diploma or GED. Students will want to have a strong writing background and a penchant for storytelling. A basic understanding of photography and videography is beneficial given the multimedia nature of the program, but most schools offer comprehensive curricula with introductory classes designed specifically for novices.
Common Courses for New Media Journalism Students
Many new media journalism degree programs place an emphasis on hands-on learning given the nature of the field. These are some of the most common classes you can expect to see when studying new media journalism.
''How does society gather information?'' Media literacy students will answer this and similar questions as they learn about the history, technology, and impact of mass media. These courses also provide journalism students with a framework with which to analyze the media they consume for themselves. Ultimately, media literacy classes allow students to think critically about the information they receive from all sources.
Media law, also called communication law, gives students applicable knowledge of the legal terminology, regulations, and policy affecting those who work in the field of journalism. They learn the major legal issues surrounding both the broadcast and print industries and how to best navigate potential hurdles. These classes also frequently cover landmark legal cases.
News stories cover all manner of topics but often share similar qualities in their writing. This isn't a coincidence - media writing requires a specific style. In these courses, students learn what it takes to write succinct, accurate stories for sports, news, and feature articles. Journalism students also learn the finer points of Associated Press Style, the standard used by the entire industry.
News reporting requires accurate, timely reporting across print, audio, video, and web platforms. These stories have tight deadlines, and students in multimedia reporting courses learn firsthand what it takes to produce a quality news piece using audio, video, desktop publishing, and social media technologies. In many cases, schools operate an on-campus news studio where journalism students participate in and produce a campus newscast using the stories they have covered for class.
Web Design and Publishing
As of 2017, 43 percent of Americans get their news from the internet, according to Pew Research. This is only seven percentage points lower than television - the most popular platform - which means new media journalists need to be well-versed in the requirements of web-based media. These classes cover everything from web design to the basics of HTML coding. All classes give students an applied understanding of what it takes to add multimedia content to a story and make information available online in a professional capacity.
How to Choose the Right Degree Program in New Media Journalism
Journalism degree programs give students the flexibility to pursue careers in a wide variety of fields. It's important for journalism students to consider their career goals when deciding between schools so they can choose a program emphasizing the area of journalism they most wish to pursue after graduation. Students looking to pursue print journalism should seek schools with opportunities to complete internships at local newspapers or write for well-known campus newspapers. Those seeking broadcast careers will want to consider the exposure available on campus newscasts or at local news affiliates. These network connections could prove to be invaluable after graduation.
It's also important to consider whether an advanced degree is in the picture. Many schools offer graduate programs or specialized journalism schools for those who wish to pursue graduate-level degrees and beyond.
Careers in New Media Journalism
There is a wide variety of career paths available to new media journalism graduates. Some of the most common career options for new media journalism students include reporters and correspondents. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for these professionals was $41,260 as of 2019. Overall employment in these fields is expected to decline 12 percent over the 2018-2028 decade. Here are other professions a new media journalism graduate may consider: